The Lightning Thief

Cover Art from:
Cover Art from:

Riordan, R. (2005). The lightning thief. New York, NY: Miramax Books/Hyperion Books for Children.

This is the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series a five book series that was completed in 2009 with The Last Olympian. In The Lightning Thief readers are introduced to Percy as troubled student who has been kicked out of several schools after a disaster of a field trip things start falling apart. After loosing his mother and fighting the minotaur he makes it to Camp Halfblood where he discovers he is the son of Poseidon. He then sets out on an epic adventure to find the Zeus’s lighting bolt, prevent a war among the Gods and save his mother. This book is a great read alike for fans of Rick Riordan’s other work and highly recommended to fans of Greek Mythology. This book is a great fantasy read and highly recommended for fans of the genre. This is also a great book for reluctant readers especially those with ADD or Dyslexia as Percy has both and begins the story as a poor student. However he discovers these are actually strengths that his dyslexia is due to his brain being hardwired for Greek and his ADD being an aid in battle. Seeing Percy use what were his weaknesses as strengths can be inspirational for tween readers. Barnes and Noble lists the age range for this book as being for 9-12 years which fits the story though the books are also fairly popular with older readers as well.

This is a great book to use in library programing due to it’s popularity. There is also a movie of this book though it is very different from the book and not as well liked. The library could still do a Percy Jackson movie night and follow it with a discussion of how the book and movie are different and what people like better about each. Another fun library event would be discussing the Greek mythology mentioned in the books especially discussing the different gods. At Camp Halfblood in the books the campers are sorted into houses based on which god is their parent. In the library kids could sort themselves into Camp Halfblood houses based on their personality traits and those of the gods. This could also be combined with crafts like making house banners or necklaces like those used by campers in the books.

Riordan has also written other series about the Roman and Egyptian mythology the Heroes of Olympus series and the Kane Chronicles. The Roman series features some appearances by characters in the Percy Jackson series and there are also three books from a crossover between the Percy Jackson and Kane Chronicles. In addition to these series there is also the new Magnus Chase and the Sons of Asgard series that begins with The Sword of Summer coming out in October 2015. While Percy Jackson and the Olympians seems to be the most popular of these series, all of Riordan’s books are popular with tweens as well as teens.

The Lightning Thief

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